Europe

Swiss naked hiker's appeal upheld

  • 28 May 2010
  • From the section Europe
A naked rambler
Image caption Appenzell passed a law last year allowing naked hikers to be fined

A court in Switzerland has upheld the appeal of a man who was fined for rambling naked.

The court in Trogen ruled that the naked hiking did not amount to "indecent behaviour".

A prosecutor was quoted as saying the ruling should not be seen as giving blanket permission for people to walk naked in the area.

The case was the first since the eastern Swiss canton of Appenzell allowed naked hikers to be fined.

Appenzell has become a popular destination for those who like to hike without clothes, but many locals are unhappy about the trend.

The hiker in question was fined 100 Swiss francs (70 euros, £60) after eyewitnesses complained that he had been hiking in full view of a communal barbecuing area.

They also say he walked past a Christian care home, whose residents saw him.

The court lifted the fine, while local authorities will cover court costs of about 870 francs, the website swissinfo.ch reported.

The 47-year-old defendant said he had been hiking nude for two years and that most people were friendly towards him, according to Swiss newspaper Le Temps.

Swiss federal law states that public nudity is not a crime.

The BBC's Imogen Foulkes reports that Appenzell is traditionally a rather devout and conservative region, which only gave women the vote in 1990.

Authorities had hoped last year's public order law allowing for fines, would be a deterrent to naked ramblers.

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